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Mayim Achronim Nowadays

Question:
Does mayim achronim apply nowadays?
Answer:

Yes, according to most authorities, one should be stringent even nowadays to wash mayim achronim. Some are lenient and do not require mayim achronim. If this is one’s custom it may be followed.

Sources:

See Shulchan Aruch O:C 181:1 that mayim achronim is obligatory. However in Seif 10, ibid. he brings the lenient opinion that it is no longer necessary. This is based on Tosfos in Brachos 53b who explains that today the 2 main concerns of mayim achronim don’t apply. Namely the concern of dangerous salt that could cause blindness if touched to the eye before being washed off the hands. And the concern of general cleanliness, as we are less particular in about exacting cleanliness of our hands.

Most authorities rule stringently, that one should in fact be careful even nowadays, see Aruch Hashulchan, Yam Shel Shlomo [Perek Kol Habasar Chapter 10], Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 44:1

According to Kabbala as well, this is a very important practice regardless of the danger of dangerous salt, this is quoted in the Mishna Brura ibid. 21.

 

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